Skip to main content

Songs

Songs

Reich mir die Hand, o Wolke (1851) Op.104 no.5


Part of a series or song cycle:

Sieben Lieder von Elisabeth Kulmann (Op.104)


Reich mir die Hand, o Wolke

Wie oft in ihren Dichtungen beschäftigt sie sich visionsartig mit ihren Hingeschiedenen. Mit herzlicher Liebe hängt sie an dieser Welt, ihren Blumen, den leuchtenden Gestirnen, den edlen Menschen, die ihr auf ihrem kurzen Lebensweg begegneten. Aber es ahnt ihr, dass sie sie bald verlassen muss.
Reich mir die Hand, o Wolke,
Heb mich zu dir empor!
Dort stehen meine Brüder
Am offnen Himmelsthor.
Sie sind’s, obgleich im Leben
Ich niemals sie geseh’n,
Ich seh’ in ihrer Mitte
Ja unsern Vater steh’n!
Sie schau’n auf mich hernieder,
Sie winken mir zu sich.
O reich’ die Hand mir, Wolke,
Schnell, schnell erhebe mich!

Reach me your hand, O cloud

As often in her poetry, she concerns herself here with a visionary depiction of her deceased family. She clings to this world with heart-felt love, to the flowers, the gleaming stars, the noble human-beings she meets during her brief stay on earth. But she has a foreboding that she will soon have to leave them.
Reach me your hand, O cloud,
Lift me up to you!
There my brothers stand
At the open gate of heaven.
There they are, though in life
I never once saw them,
And in their midst
I see our father too!
They look down on me,
They beckon me to their side.
Reach me your hand, O cloud,
Quickly, quickly raise me up!
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

Composer

Robert Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing.

Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder (songs for voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as KinderszenenAlbum für die JugendBlumenstück, the Sonatas and Albumblätter are among his most famous. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal for Music), a Leipzig-based publication which he jointly founded.

In 1840, Schumann married Friedrich Wieck's daughter Clara, against the wishes of her father, following a long and acrimonious legal battle, which found in favor of Clara and Robert. Clara also composed music and had a considerable concert career as a pianist, the earnings from which formed a substantial part of her father's fortune.

Schumann suffered from a lifelong mental disorder, first manifesting itself in 1833 as a severe melancholic depressive episode, which recurred several times alternating with phases of ‘exaltation’ and increasingly also delusional ideas of being poisoned or threatened with metallic items. After a suicide attempt in 1854, Schumann was admitted to amental asylum, at his own request, in Endenich near Bonn. Diagnosed with "psychotic melancholia", Schumann died two years later in 1856 without having recovered from his mental illness.

Taken from wikipedia. To read the rest of the article, please click here.


See Full Entry

Poet

Elisabeth Kulmann was Russian, German and Italian poet and translator.

She was born in the Russian Empire in a large family of Boris Fedorovich, and Mary (née Rosenberg) Kulmann, of German origin. Father, collegiate councilor and a retired captain, died early. The family lived on Vasilyevsky Island in St. Petersburg. As a child, she has shown phenomenal philological abilities, learning ancient and modern languages under the direction of Karl Grosgeynrikh.

Fluent in 11 languages, she wrote over 1,000 poems before her death at age 17. Robert Schumann considered her a wunderkind and set some of her poems to music including "Mailied" ["May Song"] and "An den Abendstern" ["To the Evening Star"].

Taken from Wikipedia. To view the full article, please click here.


See Full Entry

Sorry, no further description available.

Previously performed at:

(As part of a song cycle/series:)

Sponsor a Song

Sponsor a Song from £25 - £100: enjoy seeing a credit or dedication alongside your song(s) of choice, and help ensure the future of Oxford Lieder.

Find out More